December through February is a bleak time for fans of The Walking Dead as we wait for our favorite show to return, but San Francisco TWD fans saw the light at the end of the walkerless tunnel a weekend early in the form of Walker Stalker Con. This glorious convention had everything a zombie fanatic could want: the crème de la crème of The Walking Dead cast members, cosplay, food trucks, and of course, my personal favorite, vendors hawking their zombie wares.
My co-author/mother-in-law, Anne Barrett, ran an artist booth with me over the weekend. Hands down, coolest mother-in-law of all time. Not only did she write a zombie book with me, she spent her weekend working at a Walking Dead convention. We had a blast mingling with zombie fans and fellow vendors. We arrived at the convention center at 7:30 AM on Saturday, and set up our booth in a record twenty minutes.
When the doors opened at 9:00 AM and the zombie fans started pouring in we met some fascinating people. After chatting with a few zombies, I took advantage of a lull in the crowd and snuck over to Michael Rooker’s table for a quick photo. I absolutely loved Merle because he somehow went from being a lecherous bigot to a caring brother who ended up sacrificing himself for a chance to kill the Governor and save team prison. His was the most badass death on the show. I AIN’T GONNA BEG!
Rooker was one of the few actors who seemed to genuinely enjoy the convention. He was happy to meet his fans and had a smile on his face most of the day. I don’t blame the other actors for looking dead tired by the end of the day, but Rooker was still full of energy when others were starting to look fatigued. Meeting him was a true pleasure, but it reminded me of how sad I am that Merle is no more.
The general admission folks (my kind of people) were allowed in at 10:30 AM, and that’s when things at our booth got busy. We met dozens of people dressed as zombies, but my favorite was a zombie wearing a pinstriped suit and matching top hat. I love dapper zombies.
I was surprised by how many small children attended the convention. We got to meet most of the adolescent attendees because we had a zombie head filled with free candy. Fact: people don’t come to these types of conventions to buy books, so we had to lure people to our booth with sweets. If I looked like Laurie Holden I wouldn’t have to resort to such measures, but average looking folks like me have to use chocolate to sell books. Our tactics worked though, and we sold every single one of our books. I’d like to take a moment to thank Snickers, Milky Way, and Reese’s for their contribution to my success. Maybe I should quit writing books and open a candy store.
The highlight of my weekend was meeting Josh McDermitt. I liked Eugene Porter from the very beginning. Much like Eugene, I’m socially awkward and tend to spout off phrases like “highly classified” when I don’t want to talk about something. Too bad his pants were on fire, liar, liar! I forgive Eugene though. He did what he had to do to survive, and I hope he wakes up from his Abraham-induced coma soon.
McDermitt was hilarious in person. I had no idea that he’s a stand-up comic! He’s naturally theatrical and has a smile that could light up a crowded convention center. I’m praying they don’t kill off Eugene. The Walking Dead keeps killing my favorite characters, and they need to cut it out!
The Walker Stalker Convention was unlike any other con I’ve attended. I think it was the zombie-centric feel that made it so special. Sorry Wizard World, Walker Stalker Con is my new favorite convention. I had a spectacular time and plan on attending next year. I better start stockpiling fun-sized candy bars so I can bribe more people to buy my books next year.